Review: Butler’s Smokehouse Dr Pepper Beef Jerky (C)


From the Great State Fair of Texas we have another fun Texas taste to explore:  a package of Dr Pepper Beef Jerky from Butler’s Smokehouse in Stephenville, Texas.

Butler's Smokehouse Dr Pepper Beef Jerky

Butler’s Smokehouse makes a variety of  jerkies and the prospect of combining delicious beef with the ever-tasty Dr Pepper seems an obvious match made in heaven.  Still, it’s frequently not the case that great flavors combine well so is this combo a hit or a miss?  Let’s see what you get with this one:

Taste (C+):  This jerky has a pleasant savory tasty with strong garlic, onion, and pepper flavors.  They’re well-balanced but don’t hit your palate all at once, rather they take a bit to settle in on your tongue.  While this would ordinarily make for a pretty good treat this jerky has no discernible Dr Pepper flavor.  At all.  Zero.  This is so conspicuous that we’ll venture the guess that this is a mislabeled package.  Still, if it’s called Dr Pepper jerky then we’ll judge it as such and, sadly, it falls well short.

Texture (B):  This natural-style jerky is cut along the grain and is only slight moist.  The meat is quite tough and it takes some effort to either bite or tear off a piece.  Once in your mouth, though, it doesn’t take long for the meat to soften up and provide an enjoyable, substantial jerky experience.  Once you get into it a ways it’s pretty good stuff.

Smell (C+):   A whiff of this jerky quickly conveys a quality beef smell with a low-key garlic scent that’s nice but not remarkable.  Again, you’d expect some sort of sweet Dr Pepper scent, but there’s none of that to be found.

Appearance (B+):  The pieces are natural-style, cut into sizable chunks big enough for several bites each.  The meat is a dark brown with visible seasonings on the surface and irregular edges typical for unfettered bits of meat.  It looks good and suggests a quality product.

Consistency (C):   The folks at Butler’s Smokehouse show their skill here by making a jerky with a nicely consistent moisture and thickness and a flavor that’s pretty well the same from bite to bite throughout the package.  They’ve clearly taken care to ensure that they’re providing a well-made jerky.  Sadly, they seem to have forgotten the Dr Pepper so the consistency can’t be all that.  What an unfortunate oversight.

Overall Impression (C):  Really, this one is a bit of a disappointment.  Dr Pepper jerky, bereft of actual Dr Pepper, just doesn’t do the job.  On its own this jerky is decent stuff, but judging as labeled it totally misses the mark.  Again, the Butler’s Smokehouse folks know their craft but this package didn’t do the job.  Still, it’s good enough – even without the Dr Pepper – to merit a decent score.  Quality goes a long way, after all.  We’re hoping for an opportunity to pick up another package and re-review this treat, but it appears that Butler’s may no longer be making Dr Pepper Beef Jerky so we may be left simply to wonder at the possibilities.

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